notebene or Rosebud
Full disclosure: I have not yet been to Nota Bene (but live nearby and have been eagerly watching and cannot wait to get there).
Atmospherically, they are quite different. Rosebud is a neighbourhood resto, small and intimate. Nota Bene is a more "corporate" type place - not gross corporate, but it's someplace you might find people on expense accounts - a slightly slicker look/feel.
Food at Rosebud is as described by the other posters - sort of upscale-d comfort-y food, deliciously prepared (and service is good). Menu at Nota Bene (again, have not eaten there) is a bit more fusion-y, "fancy."
I don't think you can go wrong either way.
I'm not that impressed with Rosebud. My one and only visit featured several dishes I didn't finish - and the chocolate dessert was passed around to 4 people - and still some remained on the plate.
So far 2 visits to Nota Bene - which speaks volumes as to which I prefer!
Tables are VERY close at Rosebud and service is casual. But it's probably priced about 40% less than Nota Bene. Food and service at Nota Bene are excellent - although it's a larger room the tables are a bit better spaced (although you can still eavesdrop fairly easily). Certainly I'd not hesitate to say Nota Bene if it was business. But with friends, Rosebud is still OK but I'd still go to Universal Grill (even if the ribs don't appeal) for their other dishes which I think still outshine Rosebud's with a comparable ambience.
We do go to Universal, because there is a comfort level that we enjoy.
In fact we have been there several times this summer.
Had a excellent roast duck about a month back.
I see that you read my comment on the ribs, but most on this board would love them.
I am definitely the exception, as I need to pull them off the bone Toronto style.
When I go to Carolina (business) I avoid Southern B.B.Q like the plague..
I have the reservation at Rosebud, but Nota Bebe will definitely be next on our list, as you know your food..
Although I don't usually review a restaurant after only one visit, I would like to comment on Rosebud.
There were many items on the menu, that I would have liked to try.
Very varied and interesting.
Didn't get to try the ravioli with fig and marscapone filling.
We started with the hot olives which are addictive.
The arctic char salad app. was excellent loaded with very tasty smoked char which they told me is made in house..
The others fois gras of duck from Quebec, and vegetable terraine were tasty as well.
The mains were well executed.
I had the saddle of lamb.
Very large portion of butter soft med-rare as I had requested, with a crispy outer skin.
This was served on Israeli couscous.
A light jus that didn't mask the meat, but slightly too salty
Truly an inspired dish
Two had the halibut, topped with slivers of heirloom radishes that had been bathed for 24 hours in honey and vinegar and salt.
Strange taste on its' own, but it made the halibut sing.
This is a trend that I had noticed in Europe this year, but hadn't seen here.
In .Europe it was often done with fish eggs, as well as veggies.
S, had the Bison steak, once again a very large filet which he told me was perfectly cooked to med rare and exceptionally tender.
For sides, the smashed potatoes and again the trendy, but very good baked white and red beets.
The chablis (I didn't note the name) was perfectly chilled, and excellent.
We didn't order dessert, as we were stuffed and not very excited about the choices.
Estufarian, we may have hit a good night, but I think that you should give Rosebud a second chance.
We have tried at least 6 bistro type restaurants suggested here in the past few months, and our conclusion on all were that if we lived in the neighborhood we might return, but probably not.
Rosebud was a winner last night.